Saturday, 17 October 2015

I Due: How to Tackle Student Loan Debt Without Sidelining Your Marriage

Getting married this fall? Congratulations! Just be warned – there comes a moment in every autumn wedding where half the guests suddenly slip away to watch the big game (just follow the cheers to find your wedding party).
Football is actually pretty apropos for a wedding – after all, in both football and marriage, you’re either tackling things together or you’re being tackled by them. Money is a common example of this (in marriage, not football), as the growing number of couples dealing with student loan debt can attest.

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Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Best Alternatives to MIT for Computer Science Programs in Boston

We did our research and put together a list of computer science programs in the Boston area that would be great alternatives. We looked at the quality of the program but also the value of it as determined by how much debt graduates took on compared to their starting salaries in the industry, also known as debt-to-income ratio. Some schools are obvious choices but others may surprise you and present a great value.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Personal Loan Or Home Equity Loan for Home Improvements?

Maybe you’ve spent too much time watching HGTV and now have visions of turning your kitchen into a chef’s paradise. Or perhaps your master bath is just one shower away from disaster.
If so, you’re not alone. The Joint Center of Housing Studies for Harvard University recently reported that the home improvement industry should post record-level spending in 2015. For many people, that means borrowing money to pay for those improvements.

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Should You Buy a Home Before Year-End? 4 Reasons to Consider Taking the Plunge

With the dog days of summer behind us, the real estate market should soon be experiencing an end-of-season cool-down. But that doesn’t mean prospective homebuyers should cool off, as well.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, taking the plunge before year-end could save you money, give you extra negotiating power and potentially even increase your future take-home pay. Here are three things that make the fourth quarter of 2015 a great time to buy a home.

Monday, 5 October 2015

How Many Credit Reports and Scores Will My Lender Pull?

After applying to refinance his mortgage, a Credit Sesame reader writes in for advice to find out why the mortgage lender pulled a ti-merge report instead of his credit report.  John Ulzheimer, credit expert for Credit Sesame, answers.
“John, I applied to refinance my home loan last month and the mortgage company didn’t pull my credit report. They told me they pulled something called an RMCR Tri-merge report. What in the world is that and why didn’t they pull one of my credit reports?”

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

How to Pay Off Student Loans Faster Using Momentum

Paying off student loans is all about momentum and resourcefulness. Staying current on your payments—or ideally getting ahead of them a bit—can give you the motivation you need to tackle and clear your student loan debt quickly.

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Move-In Maintenance : How First-Time Homeowners Can Get To Know Their Home

It feels good to close on your first home. But once you’ve got everything moved in, you become a homeowner and that means lots of homeowner responsibilities and sometimes spending money on those responsibilities. From the moment you move in—actually from the home inspection—you should consider how to maintain your home in order to avoid costly repairs later. As a first-time homeowner, you now have an investment to protect.

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Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Financial Planner’s Guide to Student Loan Refinancing

Whether you’re a fee-based financial planner, investment advisor or other financial professional, chances are you’ve seen a uptick in clients dealing with student loans.
From the parents who take on debt to fund their kids’ education, to the lawyers, doctors, nurses and other professionals shouldering high interest rate grad school loans, an increasing number of clients are looking for guidance on how to balance a large debt load with rapidly evolving financial goals.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How to Get Medical Debt off Your Credit Report

Consumers who become sick or injured and can’t pay their medical bills may find themselves facing multiple layers of insult and injury. Bad becomes worse when collection agencies hound by phone and mail and delinquent accounts stage an evil takeover of the consumer’s credit report. In fact, most reported collection accounts – 52% – are medical. Fortunately, changes by the big three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) that went into effect this past spring make it easier for consumers to get medical debt and other types of inaccurate data off their credit reports.

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Saturday, 12 September 2015

How Chase, Citibank and Bank of America Handle Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft is on the rise and banks are constantly implementing new forms of identity theft protection into the products and services they offer to their customers. By federal law, everyone is entitled to some level of fraud protection against unauthorized use of their debit or credit cards. Chase, Citibank, and Bank of America have created ways of protecting their customers from this kind of fraud.

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How late payments affect your credit report

Whenever you make a late payment on one of your current liens or debts, such as a credit card, it will have negative effects on your credit report card. Banks and lenders are very strict on the payment history of an applicant who is requesting a new loan. If the credit report even shows one month on a debt account that had a late payment, it will immediately be a red flag to them. A history of late payments shows lenders that you are a credit risk, which means they will be nervous about issuing you another loan or credit card. But if you have a history of on-time payments, they will likely grant you a new loan.

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What is identity protection and Credit Monitoring Services?

Identity protection is a term that refers to any security measure which helps prevent your personal information, such as social security numbers and credit card numbers, from being seen by unauthorized third parties. If the wrong people were to get your personal information then they could steal your identity and incur a lot of debt in your name that you will be responsible for. But when you take measures to protect your identity, you are preventing someone from doing this.

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Friday, 23 January 2015

The Snowball Route to Debt Freedom

With so many people overrun with debt worries lately and the economy perilously hanging on the balance between wanting more spending (consumer confidence) and less borrowing (on the verge of defaulting on loans), it's no wonder that people are looking into more than one way to get motivated.

There are two well-known ways to pay down debt and secure some financial freedom.  I just learned of a third, which I'm going to share with you here.

There's no right or wrong way to pay off debt. Read through these ideas and find out which one works best for you.

3.  Pay Off the Most Troublesome First

If you have a debt that makes you angry every time you look at it, that might be the first one you want to pay off.  Regardless of how much interest you're paying or what the minimum payments might be, if this is a debt that happened because of a break-up, financial disaster, lawsuit, or other extremely unpleasant condition, you might find the greatest sense of freedom from paying this one off first.

2.  The Snowball Effect

This works well if you have a ton of different creditors to pay off.  You simply pay off the one with the lowest balance first.

Say you have one credit card with a $6,000 balance, another with a $600 balance, and 5 more cards with balances in between.  By paying off the lowest balance first, you get the psychological high of only having 6 cards on your list instead of 7.  What's more, you can now take the money you were paying to that lowest balance and add it to the amount you're now paying on the next highest balance.

Result? You will FEEL that you're making faster progress!

(It may not be true mathematically, but your feelings affect your ability to hang in there until the end.)

3.  Pay the Highest Interest Rate off First

This is the oldest recommended technique, probably devised by an accountant sitting in a back room somewhere. It is the most logical way to repay your debt, because the highest interest rate is taking the biggest bite out of you.  Getting rid of that first will make the most sense mathematically.

Unfortunately, it might feel like it takes forever to pay off that one card.  People can get discouraged this way, and make themselves feel better by buying a huge TV, expensive vacation, or a swimming pool -- with credit.

So, if you've got a cool head, this is the oldest and one of the best ways to do it.

Keep the Faith.

Keep the faith. You can really pay off all that credit card debt.  You can find the extra income and the motivation to keep a budget, stick to it, and succeed.  If you need more income, you might find that a second, part-time job might help.  You can consolidate debt into a better interest rate.  But no matter what road to success you take, you have to believe you can do it, because that's what keeps you motivated.

Try this suggestion: Every night before you go to sleep, get into bed and take a few moments to appreciate the soft pillow.  Think back and identify at least one to five good things that you remember from that day.  After all, that's why you want more freedom from debt -- you want to have a life you can enjoy.